Posted tagged ‘Financial Market’

Jon Stewart Wins Showdown With Jim Cramer

March 13, 2009

Great television last night on Comedy Central!

Comedian Jon Stewart and financial commentator Jim Cramer squared off over the CNBC  network’s reporting of Wall Street ahead of the market meltdown. It was amazing to sit and watch as Cramer, who usually has plenty to say, just sat there and took it. I read somewhere that he was like a kid trying to behave in class so that the teacher would pass them.

I love this analysis of CNN before the showdown last night:

From Reuters:

In recent days on his mock news program “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” the funnyman has taken Cramer, host of CNBC’s “Mad Money,” to task by saying he and CNBC reporters befriended Wall Street executives and former government officials instead of questioning them as journalists should.

Cramer, who offers advice and stock market tips on his CNBC show, has fought back, saying Stewart chose only examples of bad advice Cramer had given.

“I think everyone could come in under criticism. We all should have seen it before,” Cramer said. “Everybody got it wrong. I got a lot of things wrong.”

Average people trusted financial advisors who told them to pour money into market-oriented accounts for the long term, Stewart said, and those people lost their money when Wall Street used those savings to generate short-term profits.

Stewart said financial reporters like Cramer and others on CNBC should have taken the time to uncover financial shenanigans and not have been so quick to trust business executives and government officials.

“The financial news industry is not just guilty of a sin of omission but a sin of commission,” Stewart said.

With financial markets headed upward almost daily in recent years, Cramer said it was hard to believe the march skyward would not continue. “The market was going up for a long time and our real sin, I think, was to think it could continue to go up a lot,” Cramer said.

In the end, the two agreed the financial press corps should refocus on asking hard questions of top executives.

“Maybe we can … start getting back to fundamentals on the reporting, and I can go back to making fart noises and funny faces,” Stewart said.

“I think we can make a deal right here,” Cramer said, and the two shook hands.

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Citibank Hardship Reaches the Consumer (Me)

November 25, 2008

How surprised was I last Friday to get a notice in the mail from my credit card company, Citibank, who was raising my APR to 15.99%. I have been a Citibank customer for ten years and just a few months ago, finally got my APR down to 9.99%.

I contacted Citibank to see about this change and was hoping to keep my APR at 9.99%.

Here is the response that I got:

The change proposed to your purchase APR was due to a reexamination of our policies was needed given the severe changes in the financial markets. Our costs in borrowing the money we use to lend have gone up significantly.

In addition we are seeing dramatically higher loan losses and delinquencies for many of our customers. We must manage to the dramatic changes we are seeing by changing some of our rates and fees in order to continue to provide you with products, benefits and services we have today.

More information on the proposed changes can be found online at http://www.federalreserve.gov.

Thank you for using our website.

Well thank you Citibank for explaining that YOUR financial problems are the reason that MY APR is going up. I’m so glad to be doing business with you.

For now, I will NO LONGER be using my credit card for any purchases, and as soon as I can transfer my balance to another company, you will lose a customer of ten years.